search instagram arrow-down

Recent Posts

Archives

Top Posts & Pages

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5,641 other followers

likeable-blog-1337-1x.png

Thanks for Freshly Pressing me again!!

Freshly Pressed

Blog Stats

Blogs I Follow

Blog Stats

And again! Thank you to all who follow and support me!!

To Be A Bee

There is no question that the season is changing. A funny thing about Fall in New Hampshire is the juxtaposition of death and renewing sleep. If, on the one hand, you look for death, it is all around you.  The gardens of abundance die off and the harvest is waning; whether it is flowers, fruit or vegetables. The leaves are changing and the insects are disappearing. Even the sounds of cicadas and tree frogs are silenced.

It can also be viewed as renewal, in the coming period of hibernation and the frenzy to collect up all that is good prior to the sleep.  The deer and moose are entering the rut. They will run furiously and unconsciously toward sex and sleep. The males are beyond thinking reasonably about life and survival, the females are thinking purely of the laws of nature and selective survival of the species.

What does this have to do with bees? They too are drawn by thousands of years of instinct to behave a certain way to survive the coming dearth. This week I saw a cleansing of sorts that prompted me to contact my bee-mentor, Jodi.  I walked out one day to find hundreds, no really HUNDREDS, of dead bees, stacked on the bark mulch, outside the hive.

DSC_4954

I immediately emailed Jodi in a panic and bit my nails all morning.  She emailed back asking if they were lying on their back shivering.  No, all dead. She suggested they had gotten into some pesticide from a neighbor spraying their garden or roses and thought things were probably going to be OK.  The next day, there were several pupae-stage bees on the landing board.  People, I don’t expect you be to interested or excited about the minutia of what I am describing.  Here are the “CliffsNotes.”  The bees begin to feel the change in seasons. The recognize that if the hive is to survive the upcoming winter it most be able to sustain only the most important members. That would be the queen, to continue to lay eggs so the workers can survive, enough stores of honey to sustain the queen, the new workers and the current works. So who is superfluous? The drones. The male bees whose entire job in life is to fertilize the queen.  Queen is all set for the moment, you guys are eating too much.  Good-bye.

So we come to the class and what was learned about helping the bees Winterize. The hive inspection this time of year involves looking for good stores of honey and brood.

DSC_5001

Lots of capped and uncapped honey!

Beyond that, we look for evidence of mice, who are drawn to the warmth of the hive. Bees will sting the intruder to death, then wrap it in propolis, the sticky substance they produce to repair holes in the frames. The body is mummified and harmless but lots of bees die in the process and precious space is lost to the mummy, better to put mouse guards in place before this happens.

Insulating boards are put in place on top of the hives, under the outside cover. A black plastic insulated wrap is slid over the hive to keep the winds at bay and help the hive maintain its 90° core temperature.

Finally, and best of all, if the hive has been very productive, honey can be taken and extracted from the frames. Sunday, my bee class enjoyed the fruits of one hive’s labor. We used an electric hot-knife to removed the caps on the honey comb. The frames were then inserted into an extractor which uses centrifical force to spin the honey out of the frames. These frames can then be returned to the hive. The bees will clean and reuse the comb. Four frames produced five and a half pounds of honey!

DSC_5012

 

DSC_5028

4 comments on “To Be A Bee

  1. Chris F says:

    So the bees you found outside your hive were all drones? Were they kicked out to die? Stung to death? And what about the pupae stage bees?

    1. Hi Chris,
      The pupae appeared to be drones. The others were not, possibly some as the workers are clearing out the drones but there were just too many to be sure. Another thought was perhaps a raccoon tried to disturb the hive and the bees stung in it to defend themselves. They die after they sting. Still, odd behavior.

  2. Touring NH says:

    Imagine a human society that behaved as efficiently!

  3. Matriarchal and self-sufficient, hmm. Interesting concept!

Love to know what you are thinking! And thank you for commenting.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

Putnam, in the studio and beyond

Reflections and ruminations in Education, Beauty, Art and Philosophy

Gringa of the Barrio

A Sassy Barrio Gringa Telling It Like It Is

Badfish & Chips Cafe

Travel photos, memoirs & letters home...from anywhere in the world

The city of adventure

From there to back again (usually on a bike)

Nolsie Notes

My stories, observations, and art.

Shellie Troy Anderson

~ WRITER, REBEL, RACONTEUR ~ AND MOST OF THE TIME A MIDDLE-AGED DESK JOCKEY

Oh, the Places We See . . .

Honey, grab the GPS.

The Task at Hand

A Writer's On-Going Search for Just the Right Words

The Next Phase Blog

Social commentary and opinions: No guns, politics, or religion.

Breaking New Ground in Zone 6

The adventures of Southern gardeners starting over in New England

Marsha's Bungalow

the WW2 era chicken coop

iwalkalone.co.uk

the world one step at a time

Tootlepedal's Blog

A look at life in the borders

Susan's Musings

Whimsical Stuff from a Writer's Mind

Travels with Choppy

A dog and cat in clothing. Puns. Travel. Bacon. Not necessarily in that order.

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

A Sawyer's Daughter

The Life & Times of a Sawmill Man's Eldest Child

Formaggio Kitchen

Artisan cheese, charcuterie and specialty food.

Not Another Tall Blog

Not just another tall blog. Because being tall is NOT all we talk about! Follow me for tall talents, tall fashion, rock interviews and more!

On The Heath

where would-be writer works with words

The adventures of timbertwig in the forest of Burnley and the Rossendale Valley

crafts, permaculture, forest management, self employment, cycling

cheryl62blog

Time to change, live, encourage and reflect.

GARDEN OF EADY

Bring new life to your garden!

The Grey Enigma

Help is not coming. Neither is permisson. - https://twitter.com/Grey_Enigma

Ethereal Nature

The interface of the metaphysical, the physical, and the cultural

UP!::urban po'E.Tree(s)

by po'E.T. and the colors of pi

Kindness Blog

Kindness Images, Videos, True Life Stories, Quotes, Personal Reflections and Meditations.

Crazy Green Thumbs

Chronicling a delusional gardening experience.

New Hampsha' Bees

Raising bees holistically in New Hampshire

Dream, Play, Write!

Today, make a commitment to your writing.

Nicholas Andriani

Adventure Travel and Gastronomy, Passionately Explored

AM Simpson

Loves Final Kiss

Indie Hero

Brian Marggraf, Author of Dream Brother: A Novel, Independent publishing advocate, New York City dweller

Therapeutic Misadventures

Daily musings on life after 60 & recreating oneself

valeriu dg barbu

©valeriu barbu

Writing Out Loud

A Place of Observation

cancer killing recipe

Just another WordPress.com site

Archon's Den

The Rants & Rambles of A Grumpy Old Dude

hoosiersunshine13

Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why. -Kurt Vonnegut

Once upon a time... I began to write

My journey in writing a novel

Not a Day Over 45

A View from Mid-Life

theflexifoodie.wordpress.com/

Delicious plant-based, whole food recipes & my healthy living tips!

Sharon Rawlette

Memoirist. Essayist. Philosopher.

Diane Tibert

~ writer - editor - publisher ~

Amintiri din Bucătărie

Memories from the Kitchen

White Shadows

Story of a white pearl that turned to ashes while waiting for a pheonix to be born inside her !

At Home in New Hampshire

Living and Writing in the North East

JOSELYN'S BRAWL

Two rare, life-threatening diseases that led to a bone marrow transplant and a snappy Buttkick List